A bourgeois luxury, a genderless brand, designed for those who do not like the showy glamour of fashion, and that made its way to Paris and Milan Fashion Week. Italian fashion brand Oblique Creations relatevely new and young (it was created in 2006), and already so loved worldwide. The mind behind this company is Olesya Petrenko, whose philosophy is based on the idea of seizing all women’s desires to create a pret à porter which they can identify with.
Today, the collections can be found in the most progressive luxury boutiques over the world. The Oblique Creations retail network now includes over 200 selected boutiques and 9 mono-brand stores throughout Europe, Russia, The Middle East and The US. Oblique Creations has reciently landed in Dubai at Mall of the Emirates, inside the latest and colossal concept store of the city, THAT Concept Store. We spoke with the founder and Creative Director of Oblique Creations Olesya Petrenko.
Designer and entrepreneur, but especially a woman that creates for real, vibrant women who not only show their essence down the red carpet but also in their everyday life. Because wearing a dress reflects the profound expression of who we are. This is the conception that has always portrayed the style of Olesya Petrenko, Founder and Creative Director of Oblique Creations. She was born in Russia, but soon she was adopted in Bologna, where she studied Marketing and International Management. She first opened a niche store in Russia, where she focused on both Italian and French brands. The acquisition of a complete expertise concerning the purchasing processes gained thanks to her broad experience in Italy, enabled Olesya to found the brand Oblique Creations, whose philosophy is based on the idea of seizing all women’s desires to create a pret à porter which they can identify with. “Fashion is often considered as being based on trends and rules. However there are professionals that link fashion to a profound reflection that comes from being a woman today, from the character and from the idea that everyone must feel unique and special with what she wears”.
This is the assumption which gave birth to the first collection of the brand, where the dailywear is a lifestyle that pays specific attention to an elegant and minimalist product, able to reinterpret, in a modern key, an authentic Italian tailoring tradition in which the woman can always feel at ease with herself, on every occasion of her everyday life. From the dancers of the Bolshoi ballet, to a large number of international managers: Olesya Petrenko brings the feminine identity to the fore. Identity that sees both profession and family as a unicum reflected in what women are wearing. For the future, Olesya intends to carry out her mission of satisfying women with a style that “ smells”couture and to support and promote the Made in Italy betting on an “all Italian“ artisanal workmanship.
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How would you describe your passion for fashion?
Fashion has always been my real passion. A fashion to observe and to create with your own hands, because being able to give life to a garment in which a woman can find herself, be represented and, at the same time, feel elegantly at ease, is a continuous emotion. To me fashion means allowing every woman to find her identity in what she wears, making her feel unique and special in her femininity.
What was your first ambition during your childhood?
For as long as I can remember, fashion has always been part of my life: what was a simple dream has gradually taken a concrete and real form. When I was a little girl I used to have fun modifying the clothes I was given by my friends and older acquaintances. I always thought that fashion would represent a great opportunity for my creativity. Indeed, this allows to transform different looks according to your personal tastes. You just have to apply yourself with joy and passion.
Ambition or talent: what matters most for success?
A fair mixture of the two: without ambition, which must be continuous and prevent you from “feeling fully realized”, you cannot develop that desire to improve, to go further, to reach new goals. Certainly ambition must be supported by talent and everyone must learn to recognize their own, so you don’t have to face challenges in which you would not find yourself and which would not allow your desire of growth.
What ambitions do you still have?
First of all, that of giving life to an entirely sustainable couture: a direction that Oblique Creations has always followed, in order to create a style which is truly conscious and does not impact on the environment. From the fully traceable supply chain to the use of natural textures, I would like that, season after season, my creations may continue to explore that elegant prèt-à-porter, conceived in the name of the most authentic well being, with its free and refined silhouettes and as a great example of sustainable, clear and traceable luxury.
How do you think the fashion industry can improve?
The answer is obvious and only one: maintaining a high level of attention to the environment. We mustn’t forget that fashion is one of the most polluting industries, and monitoring the entire supply chain – from raw materials to the sale of the finished product – from a green perspective, can make all the difference.
How does the Oblique Creations brand allow you to express yourself?
Oblique’s style reflects a refined and always perfect femininity, in every moment of the day and in any occasion, thanks to a sartorial prèt à porter and a total Made in Italy style: the set of these characteristics is exactly what gives life and shape to my creative thought. Moreover, the attention to production in its entirety, the artisan know-how, the certified supply chain are all pieces that complete my creative philosophy, which finds its fulfillment in the final product, designed for all women and perfect for every physicality. My style – and consequently that of Oblique Creations – has always been naturally inclusive, respectful of diversity and attentive to the impact on the environment….Oblique Creations represents exactly what I am.
Who was or still is your mentor? Are there any non-fashion designers or artists who directly inspire your work?
All women have always inspired me: their strength, their character, their extraordinary normality are the key characteristics that guide my creative vision. If I had to name a designer whose work I have looked up to with admiration, it could only be Coco Chanel, whose work revolutionized the concept of femininity and enabled her to become an important figure in fashion design and popular culture of the 20th century.
Music, movies, and artwork are increasingly being made using artificial intelligence. Do you think Artificial Intelligence can replace human creativity?
I think it is impossible because human creativity is based mainly on sensitivity, which cannot be built, nor can it be borrowed from a machine: it is an attitude, a way of being, a gift that must certainly be cultivated and that cannot be created artificially.
What do you see as the future of the fashion industry in the digital world?
Greater precision and efficiency, reduction in consumption, enhancement of human resources, innovation, flexibility and speed are all benefits that digital transformation has brought and will bring to fashion. But fashion is also a creative sector, where experience and the human hand will always be indispensable. Technology serves to work better, to rationalize productivity, to better connect different aspects, to gain in flexibility and efficiency by triggering the virtuous circle of efficiency throughout the chain. But without the “human” contribution, it risks remaining something beautiful, perfectly created but without a soul.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before you started your career what would it be?
Never give up daring and believing in the power of your desires: with passion and self-commitment you will get anywhere!